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University president gives up $90K in salary for low-wage co-workers

Raymond Burse, Kentucky State University’s interim president, has given up more than $90,000 of his $350,000 annual salary to give campus minimum-wage workers a raise to $10.25 per hour. “Other college presidents have taken similar actions,” according to a report in Vox Media on August 17.

The university’s lowest-paid workers made only $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage, before the president’s move.

According to a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, several other presidents have also donated salary to low-wage workers. Hampton University’s president donated more than $100,000 to give low-wage workers a raise to $9 per hour, and after President Barack Obama called for a $10.10 minimum wage, the president of Louisiana’s Centenary College raised pay for over two dozen campus employees who made less than that.



UC execs: opposite pattern

Back here at UC, the regents approved a 3 percent salary increase for 21 senior managers (such as chancellors) at its July 17 meeting, reports the Daily Californian. These officials had no pay increase since 2007, and regents wanted to align UC compensation closer with market value.

A tripling in the number of “highly compensated individuals” at UC between 2004 and 2012 “is coupled with a decrease in job security and compensation for most workers,” says Bob Samuels, president of UC-AFT (representing UC lecturers and librarians).

Why are campus administrators making so much money?” asks SUNY professor emeritus Lawrence Wittner, in a recent History News Network column. Wittner speculates that compensation keeps rising because boards are dominated by business people “accustomed to the outlandish incomes and perks of the corporate world” and who are “dazzled by administrators who rake in large financial contributions.”


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